A stable, inexpensive and widely available burial environment or keeping place for archaeological or historical human skeletal remains

Donald Pate, Maciej Henneberg, Timothy Anson, Tim Owen, Jeffrey Newchurch, Neale Draper, Chantal Wight, Teghan Lucas, Ian Moffat, Laura Weyrich, Emily Skelly, John Naumann, Angela Gurr, Calvin Logan, Jenna Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 2003 historical (non-Aboriginal) human skeletal remains archaeologically excavated from St Mary’s Anglican Church cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia were reinterred in a concrete subterranean crypt. This paper examines preservation status following 15 years of interment. Skeletal remains placed in sealed plastic bags inside plastic curation boxes provided the best method to ensure physical and chemical preservation. Prefabricated concrete containers offer a cost-effective solution for the reburial of human skeletal remains associated with a range of archaeological contexts, including eroding burial sites, urban development sites, or those derived from earlier archaeological excavations. In relation to Indigenous burial sites, in cases where considered culturally appropriate, onsite crypts allow storage or repatriation of ancestral remains ‘on country’. Concrete crypts provide cultural heritage management professionals and Indigenous communities with stable, dry, long-term burial sites that allow quick and easy access should ongoing management options, Indigenous cultural practices, or future research require re-entry into the crypt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-71
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Historical Archaeology
Volume38
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Human Skeletal Remains
  • Repatriation
  • Ancestral Remains
  • Keeping Place
  • Concrete Crypt

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